Now open: Allee Metro Chic
An alley in St. Paul has been transformed into a quaint European shopping district. Signs lead out the back doors of the shops at Selby and Snelling to the new Allee Metro Chic.
The boutique, which is in a house nestled between commercial buildings, is the creation of June Berkowitz, owner of Nina's Coffee Café, and her daughter Kelissa Stempski. The two have stocked local labels, including the über-feminine Joynoelle (with dresses starting at around $350) and retro-influenced Jessika Madison-Kennedy's Dada Dress. The store also offers Chie Mihara shoes, Gerard Darel separates and a Calvin Tran skirt that can be worn 10 ways, as well as pieces by French Connection, Sanctuary and Wooden Ships Canadian imports Eve Gravel and Annie50.
Staying true to their coffee-shop roots, the duo will offer espresso, croissants and macaroons.
179 N. Snelling Av., St . Paul, 651-414-0274, www.alleemetro.com.
Local designer Carlos Chavez is still open for business in Minneapolis, but he's now spending much of his time either in Toronto or traveling. That's one of the reasons he's selling his archive of gowns at the Fashion Avenue resale shop. "I hate selling my gowns, but I had to make room," Chavez said.
The gowns and separates are available mostly in small sizes and are priced at 65 to 75 percent off. That means you'd pay about $325 for a silk shantung gown, $1,250 for a velvet suit and $1,295 for a beaded bridal gown.
4936 France Av. S., Edina, 952-929-7919.Online makeup
Burberry has developed a devoted following for its signature plaid products. Now the utterly British label has launched a makeup line packaged in the famous check pattern.
The problem? The products are unavailable in local stores, so you can't match your skin tone to the foundations or experiment with colors -- if you want to try lipstick No. 1 in nude beige or blush No. 1 in russet, you'll have to buy it untested and online.
Baze Mpinja, senior beauty editor at Glamour, says buying cosmetics from websites is a do.
"It's not like you're a makeup virgin," she said. "You've already tried several products in your life. In the same way you apply it to buying shoes or clothes, you can make decisions based on what you know works."
However, she noted that a specialty item from a new line -- such as Burberry's -- is more of a risk. That's why she recommends starting out with safer neutrals.
Good thing the line is available at Nordstrom.com. The retailer confirmed that items from the cosmetics line, as with anything else you buy on its website, can be returned.
SALES AND EVENTS
Ladies Night Out: Take advantage of 15 percent off storewide at Bibelot, Fringe and Shu Global Footwear, freebies at Creative Kidstuff and happy hour at the Lexington.
5 to 8 p.m., Grand Av. between Oxford St. and Lexington Pkwy., St. Paul.
Stephanie's summer savings sale: Last chance to take advantage of discounts on sidewalk-sale deals of 70 percent off. You also can take an extra 10 percent off regularly priced and 40-percent-off merchandise.
Through Sunday, 758 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, 651-690-3802.
I Like You at the State Fair: The retailer of all things local has a booth filled with one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, felt pins and limited edition T-shirts as well as onesies that read "I'm not fat, I just have Cheese Curds in my pocket."
Through Monday, lower level of the grandstand, State Fairgrounds, Falcon Heights.
Pumpz & Company sale: Take an additional 25 percent off already reduced spring and summer shoes, handbags and jewelry, up to a maximum of 75 percent off.
Through Monday, Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252.
Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177 • firstname.lastname@example.org